Duty hike on US Chana, Masur may not impact prices here

PUNE: India’s decision on Thursday to increase import duty on several products from the US, in retaliation to recent tariff hike by Washington, will not impact domestic market prices of chana and masur dal that are in the list of goods affected, traders said.

“There will not be much impact on domestic prices as the tariff has been increased only on US origin pulses and it will become applicable only from August,” said Nitin Kalantry, a Maharashtra-based dal miller.

India imports very small quantities of chana and masur from the US.

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The total import duty on chana and masur from the US including surcharge will be now be 77 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively.

Chana imports were already negligible due to due to huge domestic stocks, high tariffs and low prices, traders said. While masur imports on small scale were feasible whenever import parity was achieved, this will also reduce further, they said. Both these commodities are rabi crops.

Canada accounts for 90 per cent of India’s masur imports, while the US accounts for only 7.4 per cent. In the case of chana, India imports 85 per cent from Australia, and the US accounts for only 1.4 per cent.

More than the imports, the domestic pulses industry is more concerned about huge quantities of selling being undertaken by the government agencies, which have dragged prices further down. Traders said government agencies such as Nafed and Food Corporation of India have begun heavy selling of tur, moong and urad.